A Maryland cardiologist whose license to practice medicine in Maryland had been revoked by the Maryland State Board of Physicians (“Board”) had appealed the Board’s license revocation to the courts, where a judge denied his appeal on May 7, 2012. The Board had revoked the doctor’s medical license in July 2011 after finding that the doctor had engaged in unprofessional conduct, willfully made a false medical report, grossly over utilized health care services, violated the standard of care, and failed to keep adequate medical records with regard to his patients.
Before he got in trouble for implanting stents in cardiac patients without the patients having the need for the stents, the well-known cardiologist practiced in a Baltimore-area hospital beginning in 2008 until the hospital suspended him in July, 2009 for performing the unnecessary stent procedures. The doctor’s tenure at the hospital resulted in the hospital’s cardiology department enjoying national attention. As a result of the stents controversy, the hospital ended up paying the federal government $22 million in November, 2010 in order to to settle a Medicare fraud investigation.
As a result of its own investigation, the hospital sent out letters to 600 of the doctor’s patients in 2010, advising them that their stent procedures done by the doctor may have been unnecessary. Hundreds of the doctor’s former cardiac patients filed medical malpractice cases against the doctor and the hospital as a result.
The hospital’s fortunes declined to such a degree after the scandal that the hospital sought to sell itself to a larger, regional medical system. The medical system recently entered into a letter of intent with the hospital to purchase and incorporate the hospital into its long-list of facilities in the State of Maryland.
Source: The Daily Record, May 9, 2012.
What’s A Stent?
A stent is a small mesh tube made of metal or fabric (fabric stents are used in larger arteries) implanted in arteries that are too narrow or weak. Stents may or may not be coated with medicine (drug-eluting stents are coated with a slow-release medicine intended to prevent the artery from becoming blocked again). Stents are implanted during a medical procedure known as an angioplasty that restores blood flow through the narrowed or blocked arteries by supporting the inner walls of arteries. Stents may also be used in weak arteries to prevent the arteries from bursting while also increasing blood flow.
The Risks Of Stents
While stents may help improve the quality of life of patients and extend their lives under appropriate circumstances, angioplasty and stents come with known risks including bleeding at the site where the catheter was inserted, blood vessel damage due to the catheter, irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), kidney damage due to the dye that is used during the procedure, an allergic reaction to the dye, infection, restenosis (excess tissue growth within the treated portion of the artery that leads to narrowing or blockage of the artery), and blood clots at the stent site that can lead to a heart attack or stroke (approximately 1% to 2% of stent patients develop a blood clot at the stent site, which risk is greatest during the first few months after the stent was placed; this risk is often addressed by the doctor prescribing aspirin and/or anti-clotting medicines for a period of at least one month after a stent procedure; coated stents may increase the risk of developing blood clots but appear to not increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke).
If you had a bad outcome as a result of angioplasty or suffered a complication with a stent, medical malpractice may be a cause of your injuries and losses. A medical malpractice attorney may help investigate your situation for you to determine if you may have a valid claim for medical malpractice.
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